Supreme Court bars BCCI from releasing funds to state cricket associations

Bhadra Sinha, New Delhi: The Supreme Court barred the Indian cricket board on Friday from releasing funds to

state associations, adding that the bodies that have already received money cannot use it until they file affidavits guaranteeing to abide by the Lodha panel’s recommendations on reforms.
Thirteen state cricket associations that received money on September 30 will keep it in a fixed deposit until they give an undertaking to comply with the reforms, the court ruled.The Board of Control for Cricket in India could face a possible leadership crisis, with the Supreme Court threatening to punish the sports body for doggedly refusing to implement a raft of reforms suggested by the panel headed by a former judge, justice RM Lodha. The BCCI is accused of cherry-picking recommendations made by the top court-appointed panel.
On Thursday, the court asked the BCCI what compelled it to disburse Rs 400 crore to state associations on September 29 despite the panel’s direction not to release funds until the reforms were in place. The sports body explained the disbursal was in terms of a November 2015 decision that came before the recommendations. However, it could not produce any documents to support the argument.
The BCCI refused on Thursday to offer a guarantee that it would comply with the reforms endorsed by the Supreme Court, worsening a bitter stand-off with the judiciary that has threatened to disrupt the country’s most popular sport.
The board’s defiance angered the bench to such an extent that it threatened to dismiss the body’s top rung and pass an interim order barring the funding of state cricket associations, prohibited under the Lodha panel recommendations.
The BCCI also blamed state associations for not adopting the reforms and claimed it did not have any control on them. “If they are reluctant why give them funds,” the bench countered.